George Russell, Mercedes, Monaco, 2024

Russell expects stronger weekend in Monaco as track will hide car’s weaknesses

Formula 1

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George Russell believes Mercedes will be more competitive at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix because the track should not expose their car’s shortcomings.

Neither he nor team mate Lewis Hamilton have finished a grand prix higher than fifth so far this year. But Russell says the nature of the Monaco track should help Mercedes this weekend.

“We’ve known all season that we struggle to balance high-to-low speed,” he explained. “We can either get it quite competitive in low speed and we struggle at high speed or vice-versa.

“So we are hoping that with relatively consistent corner speeds at this circuit, that we should be slightly more competitive.”

Mercedes have also made improvements to its W15 through the upgrades introduced last weekend and at the previous round in Miami, he added. “The car is definitely more balanced through through the lap now.

“We were struggling a lot at the start to balancing the high to low speed corners, and I think it we have made progress. When you look at the gap to Red Bull, when you look at the gap to the rest of the midfield, we have moved forward.

“But I do think it’s fair to say Ferrari and McLaren have move forward at the same rate. So we need to keep them working, bringing those upgrades to the car. The whole team are working flat-out right now to bring those upgrades as quick as possible.”

However Russell said it will be important to stay on top of the track conditions which can change significantly even if, as expected, the weekend remains dry.

“Monaco is so challenging, there’s so many disruptions throughout the whole weekend and you just need to find that sweet spot,” he said. “The track’s evolving so much, it’s getting faster and faster, often up to three seconds quicker in qualifying than it is in practice one. So even if you have a good Friday you need to be ready to adapt moving into Saturday.

“We saw today, I was in the engineering meeting and it was bright blue sunshine, and I came out and it was pouring down with rain. So that could add some spice to things.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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